Cross-lagged analyses of a longitudinal quantitative case study exploring the perspectives of masters alpine skiers and their coach on adult-oriented coaching practices


The Adult-Oriented Sport Coaching Survey (AOSCS; Rathwell et al., 2020) is a promising coach education tool (Callary et al., 2021) for coaches who work with adult athletes. Research using the AOSCS has measured how often adult-oriented coaching practices are used but has not measured athletes' preferences for these different practices. Therefore, in this case study, we compared athletes' preferences and perceptions of how frequently their coach engaged in adult-oriented coaching practices at three points across a season. Ten alpine skiers (33-68 years old; six males and four females) self-reported preferences for adult-oriented coaching practices pre-season (t1), in-season (t2), and at season's end (t3). Skiers and their coach also reported how frequently said practices were used at t2 and t3. Cross-lagged analyses examined athletes' responses using Pearson's correlations. Pre-season preferences were not correlated with preferences or perceived frequencies at t2 and t3, suggesting preferences are not dispositional. Frequencies converged with preferences at t2 (r = .773) and t3 (.798), suggesting the coach's practices increasingly aligned with their athletes' wants. Preferences did not relate with cross-lagged frequencies (preferences at t1 to frequencies at t2; preferences at t2 to frequencies at t3), though perceived frequencies of adult-oriented coaching practices at t2 related to preferences at t3, suggesting that preferences for different adult-oriented coaching practices may evolve based on previous exposure to them. Finally, we use descriptive profiles to locate athletes' longitudinal data alongside the coach's self-reported frequencies to infer how athletes and the coach might find common ground in adult-coaching practices over time.

Acknowledgments: This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant 227348.